New figures from Revolut shows that total consumer spending in December 2020 rose by 6% from December 2019, with many sectors seeing record levels of expenditure.
Digital banking app Revolut said its research showed that consumers returned to the shops in force for a Christmas shopping spree, with the December reopening of non-essential retailers seeing people flocking back to stores.
Revolut has over 1.2 million customers in Ireland.
Revolut said that almost all retail sectors saw their sales increase in December, including jewellers, clothes shops, toyshops, sportswear retailers, electronics stores, bookshops and household appliances sellers.
Spending in jewellers in 2020 was up 17%, with clothes stores seeing a sales increase of 16%. Sales in toyshops jumped 45%, while sportswear stores saw sales increases of 53%.
Meanwhile, home furnishings sales soared by 81% while sales at household appliance stores were up 17%, sales at electronics retailers rose by 12% and sales in bookshops increased by 10%.
Of the main retail categories, only two performed worse than last year with both department stores and shoe shops reporting a spending fall of 12% compared to December 2019.
Revolut said that 64% of consumer spending was carried out physically in December, with 36% taking place online.
It said this marked a significant return to physical spending compared to last November, when 54% of all spending took place online.
However even at 64%, the proportion of physical spending was still notably less than in December 2019, when 75% of consumer spending by Revolut users was in person.
Revolut also said that Irish businesses considerably improved their performance when it came to online shopping, suggesting that buy Irish online campaigns such as Champion Green have been effective.
43% of all online shopping by Irish customers was undertaken with Irish businesses in December 2020. It said this compares favourably to December 2019, when only 35% of Irish e-commerce spending was with Irish businesses.